The city of Barrie, that sits in the middle of Ontario, has two conservative members of parliament. One of the two is Barrie-Innisfil MP John Brassard. He told the local Internet newspaper the other day how pleased he was to vote in parliament for a conservative motion to eliminate the carbon tax for all home heating fuels.
Mr. Brassard claimed that by defeating the conservative motion, the liberals were condemning seniors and young people to a life of misery because they would bear the brunt of increased costs to heat their homes this coming winter. And that tells me that Mr. Brassard is deliberately lying to his constituents.
What he is neglecting to mention is that the levy on carbon-based polluting fuels is considered the most effective method to encourage Canadians to opt for renewable fuels such as electricity. Nobody suffers unduly from the carbon tax as it is not really a tax. This is because the Carbon Tax goes back to the seniors and lower income earners in the form of Climate Action Incentive payments. There is now a twenty per cent top up in payments to rural households because of their increased fuel costs and lack of public transit alternatives.
Nobody expects Canadians to make the change to lower emissions of Greenhouse gasses overnight. That is the reason that the carbon tax increases gradually over time.
Even with the gradual growth in the levy, there was some imbalances in the system because not everybody can switch to non-polluting fuels as quickly as they want. Home heating with oil proved to be a special problem. This is already an expensive way to heat a home and there were price barriers for many to move to systems, such as heat pumps, to replace the heavy pollution of oil heating.
When this became obvious, the government declared a moratorium on the heating oil part of the plan for three years so that more aggressive programs by both the federal and provincial governments can lower the cost of conversion for lower income Canadians. In some provinces now, the combined federal and provincial support programs can provide free heat pump conversion for low-income Canadians.
The point of this is that, good or bad, the carbon tax is a method of getting Canadians to convert to lower greenhouse gas solutions. It is less than helpful for people with no solution to climate change to tell us to ‘axe the tax.’
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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